How to Maximize the Trade-In Value of Your Old Car

If you are getting ready to trade in your old car, the trade-in value of that car is probably a very important consideration for you. When you are buying a new car, you will want to make sure that you are getting the most value for your old car. Dealerships are notorious for giving you a low value on your trade-in so you will want to make sure that you do everything that you can to maximize the value of the car before you trade it in. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that can help you maximize the value of your old car. 

Determine Value

The first thing that you will want to do is determine the best case scenario for your car value. This can be done in a number of different ways. The easiest way to do this is to visit the Kellye Blue Book website. It will guide you through the steps to selecting your make and model. You can see what the value for an equivalent car in excellent condition is worth. Make sure that you select trade-in value since this is what you will be doing with your car. Once you see how much your car could be worth, you can determine exactly how much you want to put into the car to bring it up to par. If you have a very old car that is worth $1000 in perfect condition, then you probably do not want to put a lot of work or money into it.

Clean the Car

While you might not think that it affects the value of the car, it can influence the dealer's offer. You need to have the car professionally detailed on the inside and out. Clean out all of the trash and personal belongings. Clean out the trunk and make sure that the car is spotless. A clean car will encourage dealers to offer you more money.

Consider a Paint Job

Painting the car could be something that you want to consider. A paint job is relatively inexpensive. You could spend a few hundred dollars or less and get a new coat of paint on the exterior of your car. If you have chipped or faded paint, you will want to make sure that you get a paint job done. You probably do not want to paint it a wild color either. It is usually harder for the dealer to sell if it is hot pink or neon green. Going with black might be a safe bet in most cases. 


When you are buying a new car from the dealer, they have every reason in the world to make you happy. Let them know that if they do not treat you fairly on the trade-in of your old car that you will not do business with them. More often than not, they will stick with the Kellye Blue Book value if you tell them this upfront. 

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